Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years

2004-07-19 09:22 - Programming

I don't have a lot to say right now. It's Monday morning, and that's always a drag. I recently found a truly great article that I once read a while back that I'd like to point out. Yes, it is titled Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years.

Raise your hand if you have seen a book titled "Teach Yourself ___ Programming in 7 days" or "Learn to Program ___ in 24 Hours" or the longer but still unrealistic 30-day versions. Why in the world does everyone think computers are magic, and it takes no effort to learn how to use them? I got a degree in computer science. I spent four years in school for it. And even that pales to the amount of personal time I have invested in learning all I can find about computers. I know people that think they can pick up a book, skim through it, and suddenly be a programmer. I work with people like that.

You can't learn to program anything meaningful in 24 hours. You can't do it in a week, you can't do it in a month. The article explains about scientific studies that have found that in general, things from art and music to sports and medical science, it takes 10 years to develop expertise in an area.

"Ten years!" you're saying. But it's true. I generally have a bad time remembering dates and times, and I usually relate things to particular landmarks in my history that I can remember. I know I had my first computer when we lived in our second house. (First, where I was born in Ohio. Second was when we moved to New Jersey, and the third was still NJ but we had moved to a larger house.) We moved out of that house when I was in 8th grade. I also remember learning (basic) programming on that computer in my bedroom in the second house. So yes, I have been programming computers since I was 13 years old. And I'm 23. How amazing, a 10 year span. If you are in any way related to the technology field, or work or live with people that are, give the article a read, it's very insightful.

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